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A Combined E-Portfolio and Microcredentialing Tool for Engineering Identities and Career Pathways

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Innovative Pedagogies Afforded Through Technology and Remote Learning

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Shivam Jindal New York University

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Shivam is an alumnus of NYU Tandon School of Engineering. He earned his B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Computer Science Education. He served as the Vice President of Tandon’s Undergraduate Student Council and is broadly interested in education and equitably providing students with more opportunities.

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Jack Bringardner New York University Orcid 16x16

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Jack Bringardner is the Assistant Dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. He is also an Assistant Professor in the General Engineering Department and Civil Engineering Department where he teaches the First-Year Engineering Program course Introduction to Engineering and Design. He is the Director of Vertically Integrated Projects at NYU. His Vertically Integrated Projects course is on Smart Cities Technology with a focus on transportation. His primary focus is developing curriculum, mentoring students, and engineering education research, particularly for project-based curriculum, first-year engineering, and transportation. He is active in the American Society for Engineering Education and is the Webmaster for the ASEE First-Year Programs Division and the First-Year Engineering Experience Conference. He is affiliated with the Transportation Engineering program in the NYU Civil and Urban Engineering Department. He is the advisor for NYU student chapter of the Institute for Transportation Engineers.

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This Work-In-Progress paper describes a study of student use of e-portfolio and microcredentialing resources for identifying academic and professional pathways. Every student’s experience through engineering school culminates in vastly different results. While navigating their time in school, it can be helpful for students to learn from their peers and discover potential experiences that support their pathways. Current tools such as e-portfolios, micro-credentialing, peer to peer communication, academic advising, and informal professional networking are limited in their accessibility and effectiveness when used in isolation. Engineering portfolios have risen in popularity as a way to track students’ projects and experiences. Micro-credentials, or digital badges, allow schools to assess and verify students’ experiences outside of their credited coursework. Experiences students attain through workshops, clubs, work opportunities, research positions, etc. can all be tracked, presented, and verified through engineering portfolios and digital badges. An e-portfolio or micro-credentialing platform can complement students’ resumes or coursework by showcasing a more holistic view of a student’s interests. Examples of e-portfolios and micro-credentials include a personal website that lists academic and extracurricular experiences or add badges to a professional networking profile, respectively. Engineering schools have a range of opportunities for engineering students that can support multiple career pathways including academia, startups, industry, or non-profits. Oftentimes students need advice and mentorship to identify the opportunities that can facilitate the development of skills necessary for these professional pathways. However, the large number of different opportunities can make it difficult for students to navigate their options. Students interested in exploring pathways can benefit from a platform that makes them aware of and suggests various experiences and opportunities. This study aims to expand on current e-portfolio research by developing an interactive webbased tool for students to discover opportunities and connect with experienced mentors related to the pathways they are interested in. With a tool that centralizes access to opportunities, microcredentials, and mentors, students can learn from others’ experiences, view available opportunities, and develop their own pathways. For example, a student interested in academia may use the platform to see what experiences or micro-credentials previous students interested in academia have engaged in while earning their degree. While modern e-portfolio platforms focus on showcasing students’ work, this study seeks to include network development and a searchable database of opportunities to explore. By integrating e-portfolios, micro-credentials, advising resources, and connections to peers and alumni the tool can encourage students to consider all available and non-traditional pathways. This study uses a survey sent to university students, administrators, advisors, and faculty to assess what resources exist and how different stakeholders engage with students to develop an individual student’s sense of engineering identity and career goals. This exploratory analysis will be used in two ways: a) to determine the extent to which students explore and make use of different resources and networking opportunities available to develop their career trajectory and b) to determine the features of the interactive tool that students and advisors want to use

Jindal, S., & Bringardner, J. (2021, July), A Combined E-Portfolio and Microcredentialing Tool for Engineering Identities and Career Pathways Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36561

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